The very mention of aphrodisiac conjures up images of exotic substances which have the power to send a person into raptures of sexual ecstasy. Plant roots, fruits, animal parts, marine creatures – a mindboggling range of products are often claimed to have the impact of heightening sexual pleasure. And yet if one wades in through the hype into the real subject, it will be found that more than directly stimulating desire, most aphrodisiacs work by alleviating medical disorders or supplying much needed nutrients which are imperative for healthy sexual experience.
Cranberry and its aphrodisiacal properties
Cranberry is one such substance which has enjoyed a long reputation of possessing aphrodisiacal properties. It is a fruit that was first used by the Native Americans who discovered its amazing properties as food, dye and healing agent. Later when settlers arrived from Europe, they were quick to warm up to the fruit’s native benefits and even began to use it as a valuable bartering tool. The fruit, in fact, was originally named “craneberries” by the Pilgrims who thought the plant’s blossoms resembled the bill of the Sandhill crane. The berry’s association with Pilgrims continues to this day since cranberries are considered emblems of autumn and are a staple at the Thanksgiving table.
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Interestingly, the association of cranberry with sexual potency is found in other cultures as well. The fruit is sacred to the Finnish goddess of Marjata who was thought to have given a virgin birth after conceiving her son by swallowing a whole cranberry. The anecdote is sourced from Kalevala, the book of epic poetry of Finland. But why is cranberry considered an aphrodisiac? In popular imagination, the erotic shapes and intense colors of berries like cranberries and strawberries lend very well to their supposed powers as aphrodisiacs. However, as is the case with most traditional knowledge, the reputation of cranberries in helping the course of love is based on its more substantial healing and nutritional properties.
Cranberries are considered to have potent powers to fight off infections and have been traditionally used to prevent urinary tract infections, especially among men. In fact, the juice of cranberry has figured in traditional medicinal knowledge among native Americans as a powerful means to keep infections of the genital or urinary tract at bay. Recent research published in the Journal of American Medical Association too has shown that a large tumbler full of cranberry juice taken daily will halve the chance of having bacteria in the urine. In other words, the juice of cranberry is helpful in reducing the likelihood of contracting severe infections of the urinary or genital system among men. Recently pharmaceutical companies have come up with cranberry seed extract which is also considered beneficial in maintaining a healthy male reproductive system.
Cranberries have several nutrients to improve sexual health
Cranberries are packed with nutrients which are essential for sexual health. The fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C which is proven to build up immunity of the body. More than that the vitamin is essential for the smooth functioning of the sex glands among humans. Cranberries are also important sources of Vitamin A which helps the circulatory system of the body. Proper circulation is essential for taking oxygen-rich blood to the sex organs among men which in turn is necessary for an erection. Apart from these, vitamin A is also beneficial for building up a strong immune system. Only when the body is free of infections, will it have the ability to enjoy a sexual experience.
Cranberries have anti-oxidants
Like other berries, cranberries too are loaded with anti-oxidants. In fact, a recent study found that cranberry juice was among the richest sources of anti-oxidants, along with grape juice and red wine. Anti-oxidants are compounds that protect the body from free radicals and other destructive compounds which may be present in the body. As such anti-oxidants are crucial in maintaining vigor and vitality of the body and gaining immunity from infections, all of which are necessary for having a healthy sex life. Berries like cranberries, raspberries and blueberries gain their anti-oxidant properties from a compound known as anthocyanin. This compound gives the berries their rich deep color and so the more colorful the berry, the richer it is in anti-oxidants. Anthocyanins have been proven to aid vision, rev up the circulatory system of the body and fight off effects of aging as well as medical conditions like diabetes.
Cranberries have phytochemicals
Cranberries are again valuable sources of phytochemicals. Though not directly helpful in raising libido among men, phytochemicals are compounds which have been proven to be useful in prevention of cancer and heart disease. Ellagic acid is one of the most important types of phytochemicals found in cranberries which is believed to block the development of cancer cells. Moreover cranberries also help lower LDL or low-density lipoprotein, more popularly known as “bad cholesterol”. Thus taking cranberries is directly beneficial to maintaining a healthy heart and consequently a healthy sex life.
All berries including cranberries are rich natural sources of fiber. Dietary fiber is extremely important in preventing obesity and maintaining the right body weight. To enjoy sex, it is crucial that the body weight be kept within normal limits and thus cranberries can help one to stay long, lean and ready for amorous action. Among other benefits of a diet rich in fiber are lowering of cholesterol in blood as well as prevention of cancer in the colon.
Improving your sex life with cranberries
So what is the best way to consume cranberries in order to perk up one’s love life? The fresher and riper the cranberries, the richer they are in nutrients. However cranberries can be very tart in their natural state and so most people consume them sweetened in some form. Heating the berries and adding maple syrup is a delicious way to enjoy cranberries in their raw form. Other than this, consuming the juice of cranberries, whether fresh or in packaged form, can also provide most of the health benefits associated with the berry. The main thing is to see that the berries are ripe, since the ripest berries contain the most anti-oxidants. Cranberry extract is also available in capsule form. These red, luscious globes not only appeal to the senses but are packed with healing and nutritional properties which are necessary for healthy and pleasurable sex.